December 16, 2005

The Bloodletting

Well, this week was fun. Some bloodwork needed to be done before the IVF cycle begins. I went to the lab on Monday. They needed TEN. VIALS. TEN!!

The tech started by going for a vein in my left arm that is cooperative 99 percent of the time. Monday fell into that 1 percent category.

She finally gave up and went for the top of my right hand. Now, I don’t like needles and blood draws to begin with, but the top of my hand? Yooouuuuccchhhh! She managed to get six vials, and then the vein took its bow and closed the curtain on the blood flow.

She switched to the top of my left hand. At some point, the room was starting to spin, but she managed to get the last four vials, and I was out of the chair and out the door before she even got the needle in the sharps container.

Then the lab called that afternoon.

“Um, we miscalculated. We actually needed 11 vials. Can you come back in?” someone from the lab said in the message on our machine.

The next day, I couldn’t bring myself to go back quite yet. That was ok: Infertility Hell had another fun little surprise waiting for me on Tuesday, anyway.

My mom goes home each day for lunch. She got a Christmas card in the mail from R’s aunt and uncle. It turns out R’s cousin is pregnant. With her third child. At age 40. The natural way.

My mom races back to her office and frantically e-mails me, a breathless little “Guess who’s pregnant? Guess who’s pregnant? I bet you don’t know!!” message. No, sensitivity and tact are not her strong points.

Then came Wednesday.

I finally sucked it up and went back to the lab. A different tech drew the short straw this time and wound up with the chore of coaxing another vial of blood from my oh-so-cooperative veins. She started to go for my left arm.

“I don’t think that’s going to work. The other tech tried that on Monday, but the vein disappeared,” I cautioned her.

“Oh, don’t worry. I can get it. It’s a nice, plump vein. This won’t be a problem at all,” she responded.

Yeah, well. After a couple minutes of digging around in my arm, she gave up. I got stuck in the left hand again, but at least that vein cooperated and produced the requisite vial they needed.

I headed in to the office. I noticed my fingers and toes were tingling. Apparently, having 11 vials of blood drained from your body does that to you.

Then the phone rang. It’s an adoption connection who has our profile on file.

“A baby was born yesterday. I’m going to the hospital to pick him up. Would you be willing to get on a plane today and come get him?” she asks.

Are you kidding?? “Yes, of course!”

R and I wait anxiously for the phone call telling us to book our flight. An hour passes, then two. Finally, six hours later, she calls us back. The birth mom’s mom showed up at the hospital and talked the birth mom into taking the baby home.

So much for becoming a mom before Christmas.

R and I had been procrastinating (just for a couple days) on RSVPing to a party we’ve been invited to. It’s a long story I won’t go into now, but we weren’t looking forward to attending. For family reasons, though, we felt obligated, so R called on Thursday to let the host know we’d be there.

It was supposed to be a wedding reception/Christmas party for someone we knew a while back from school.

When R got off the phone and walked into the room, I could tell by the look on his face that something wasn’t good.

“What, are they registered at Babies ‘R Us?” I joked. He shook his head.

“Pottery Barn Kids,” I said, still kidding.

“No. But they’re due in March,” he responded.

We won’t be attending the party after all.


Liz said...

Hi, came across your blog. Sorry for all that you are going through. At times the IF roller coaster is never ending. Wishing you the best. Will continue to check in to see how things go for you.

Nico said...

Wow, that's a heavy post.

How incredibly sad to have a baby so close, and then so. not. I am so sorry that you had to go through that.

And then the pregnancy drive-bys on top of that? Just makes me want scream at the top of my lungs about the unfairness of it all.

On a different note, what the hell did they need ELEVEN vials of blood for???

Rebecca said...

The 11 vials were for an HIV test (1 vial, I believe - we're cycling out of state in a state that requires STD testing before undergoing infertility treatment), Natural Killer Cells (2 vials, I know this only because it was one of these two vials that they forgot to draw the first time around) and the remaining 8 vials were for 6 or 7 different tests that are part of a thrombophilia/blood clotting panel.

Ironically enough, it was my decision to subject myself to all of this. (Well, except for the STD tests the state dictates.) Our RE doesn't think I have immune or blood clotting issues, but I wanted to get tested anyway. Better to find out before spending tens of thousands of dollars than after...

Nico said...

That makes sense. It's still a LOT of blood though!